The legendary Reggae pioneer Toots Hibbert, whose real name was Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, passed away at the age of 77 on September 11th.
Since his death, tributes have been pouring in from many dancehall/reggae artistes, including Agent Sasco, Popcaan, Bounty Killer, and Mavado.
“We lost a Legend of our culture today’ I knew this man well and understood the work and contribution he gave to our music,” said International superstar Shaggy in an Instagram post that included a clip of the Bam Bam cover he did with Rahzel for the Toots and the Maytals album True Love in 2004. The album won the Best Reggae Album award at the Grammys in 2005.
“May he forever be recognized! Rest well my brother thank you for the culture and the music, your classics will live on. R.I.P. #tootshibbert condolences to the family!” Shaggy continued.
Agent Sasco posted a tribute to the reggae icon on his Instagram yesterday.
He shared a memorable experience he had with the singer and thanked him for sharing his talent with the world. Sasco even said that he still employs the technique thought to him by Toots Hibbert for his own performances.
Sasco’s caption read, “Thank you for sharing your gift with the world…One of my most memorable experiences was getting the chance to ask you how managed to project your very distinct voice so effortlessly with the microphone held casually about waist height. That lesson is now a main feature of my performanc. #ThankYou #RIP #Prayers for your family”
Dancehall veteran Bounty Killer also posted a tribute for Toots Hibbert on Instagram.
He saluted the reggae icon calling him legendary, a trailblazer and a pioneer of reggae, and called the death a “super loss” before sending condolences to Toots’ family and friends. He added that “Mr. 5446”, a reference to a song called 54-46 Was My Number by Toots and the Maytals, has been doing Reggae even before some of the icons such as Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff.
The Gully Gad, Mavado, posted his tribute to Toots Hibbert, with the simple caption, “RIP father toots legendary
Sean Paul, in his tribute, thanked Toots Hibbert for everything.
Popcaan and Buju Banton both posted older pictures of Toots Hibbert and kept their captions short and sweet.
Popcaan said. “Rest up legend
Tributes also came from Romain Virgo and Spragga Benz.
Spragga Benz posted on Instagram, “Fighter til the end #tootshibbert Jah bless your soul.#restinzion” and Romain Virgo said “
Queen Ifrica posted her tribute to Toots with a picture but used the opportunity to send a public service announcement about the coronavirus in the caption.
In her caption, she said, “So unu kill the bloodcl**t artist wid unu covid mi hate di bloodcl*t system”.
She implored Jamaicans to ask questions about the virus and not to sign up to lose your loved ones as a result of the virus. “Jamaican people please mi a beg unu Open unu Eyes ask more questions about this VIRUS don’t just sign up to losing Yu love ones like this a joke dis”
It’s worth mentioning that the cause of Toot Hibbert’s death was not released to the public, but he was experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Christopher Martin shared a heartfelt tribute to his Instagram. The Big Deal singer expressed his sadness of the loss of the icon and recalled some fond memories he had with Mr.Hibbert.
Martin said, “getting the chance to meet you,sit and reason with you in different parts of the globe before/after performances was always such a joy and will always be dear to my heart. “
Along with a photo of them together, Martin said that Toots Hibbert should be proud of the life he lived and that he was one of the greatest to ever do it. Martin further sent condolences to those close to Hibbert, his band, and the family.
Dancehall artiste Ce’Cile also posted a long and heartfelt tribute. In her tribute, she recounted the days early in her career when she worked with Toots Hibbert personally.
“@skattaburrell and I were lucky enough to be around and work with him early on in our careers when we were at Celestial Sounds.”
Ce’Cile reminisced about how soft-spoken Hibbert was but just how much he could project his voice. She said “A true professional, soft spoken but bwoy when he took that mic and belted out dem sounds.” The I’m Waiting singer, described Hibbert’s death as a loss to the culture and festival community.
She added that she saw him a couple of months prior to his passing and told him that they should work on something together. Ce’Cile closed her tribute proclaiming that Toots Hibbert was loved and respected by many.
Foota Hype and Macka Diamond also took time to send a tribute to the reggae icon. Hype referred to Toots Hibbert as a god and send condolences to his family.
Macka Diamond, on the other hand, said it was a pleasure to work with him. Her caption read, “I had a great pleasure working with you SIP Toots
Finally, Collie Buddz, popularly known for his song Mamacita, expressed that he was saddened by the passing of Toots Hibbert and that he was an inspiration to many. He also sent condolences to Hibbert’s family and friends and declared that his music will live on and inspire others.
Toots and the Maytals, his band, released an album after a 10-year hiatus called Got to Be Tough, a week before Toots’ hopsitalization. He had also entered the Jamaica Festival Song Contest this year, which he had won three times in the past with Bam Bam (1966), Sweet and Dandy (1969), and Pomps and Pride (1972).
Toots will be remembered as a pioneer for reggae music with hits over the years, such as 54-46 Was My Number, Monkey Man and Funky Kingston.